An inspirational story of CA Preeti Dalal who failed 4 times in CA Finals and eventually cleared in the 5th attempt with 4 exemptions. She is an example of – PERSISTENCE, DETERMINATION & most of all POSITIVE THINKING.
My Journey from wanting to be Doctor to pursuing CA:
“I scored 80% in grade 10 best being 89 marks in Science and Tech. I always wanted to be a doctor but I knew that my parents would not be able to afford my medical course fees so I decided to take up commerce,” says CA Preeti Dalal from Delhi, India.
“We are 4 siblings. My elder brother was a very bright student, always standing 1st in class but he had to discontinue his regular schooling to support my father and was studying through correspondence.This is how the rest of us continued with our schooling.
Coming back to me, I wanted to go to Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya(RPVV) school but it would have cost me Rs 10 per day to travel back and forth, adding another financial burden. In my current school, my conveyance expense was NIL as it was a 20-minute walk from my place. Keeping all these things in mind my parents wanted me to continue in my current school only. However, things changed when my tuition teacher supported and convinced my parents for RPVV.
I studied in Hindi medium in school however in college for the first time I chose English medium. I knew the max that could happen was I would just scrape through grade 11. I self-studied in grade 11 and got a 75%. The fear of coping with English had vanished. Now it was time for grade 12 exams, I decided to take tuitions for Math and Accountancy. The teacher there was pursuing ICWA and told me that after 7 attempts also he was not able to clear. Somehow in the conversation, he mentioned about Chartered Accountancy (CA) saying that CA is even tougher. It was this time that the CA word stuck in my head and I got this urge to pursue CA.
Fast forwarding, I scored 91/100 in Math and Accountancy and overall an 80% in grade 12 and decided to register for CPT (1st level CA exam). My parents wanted me to pursue Polytechnic and not CA. They were worried about the CA coaching fees. In fact, my other family members also shouted at me and told me that financing my CA studies would create a burden on my parents. Somehow I could not accept doing Polytechnic.
As dramatic it may sound, one day while returning from a computer class I felt as if I was about to faint. There was a temple on the road and thus went towards it to ask for help and fainted on the stairs itself. There was a priest inside the temple, he got nervous to see a girl on the steps like this. He called a lady from a nearby house, she and her husband brought me back to consciousness and took me to their home. They asked my father’s contact number and called him. My father came rushing and took me home. My parents asked me why I fainted. I told them that my life got blank and I can’t accept what my heart does not permit and I convinced them that I will not ask for coaching and there are so many people who have done CA without coaching and I am not the first one to do so. They understood my situation and allowed me to pursue CA.
Finally, my CA journey started although there was a 6 months delay in comparison to my other friends who already started with their CPT coaching. They appeared for the June attempt and me for December. I bought CA – CPT prospectus and my parents did manage to give me Rs. 5,000 for its coaching. I scored 162/200 in CPT.
Next, I registered for PCC (2nd level CA exam, now known as IPCC) and started with my articleship (PCC is the old course where after CPT, articleship starts immediately. After 15 months of articleship PCC exam was to be given). I took coaching for Accounts, Taxation, Audit and Costing FM. My accounts portion was not getting completed and thus I left the tuitions and studied by myself. It was then that I decided that I would take coaching only if really needed.
- PCC 1st attempt – I failed miserably.
- PCC 2nd attempt- Cleared PCC – Group 2
- PCC 3rd attempt – Cleared PCC – Group1.
By Aug’12 I completed my articleship and started a job in a CA Firm for Rs. 7,000. Now I was supporting my family although not completely. I didn’t want to discontinue my money flow so I took only 1 month’s study leave for CA Final Exam.
CA Final Journey:
- CA Final 1st attempt – Gave only Group 1 and failed. Had taken only 1-month study leave
- CA Final 2nd attempt – Failed Group 2 but Cleared Group 1 with an exemption in Financial Reporting. I had taken 3.5 months study leave this attempt and gave both groups.
- CA Final 3rd attempt – I failed Group 2 but got an exemption in Advanced Management Accounting (Costing ). I took 2 months study leave for this attempt. During my study leave, I got to know my mother had a huge ulcer in her womb for which she was hospitalized and operated. Through all this, I was doing all the household work as well. It was tough on us emotionally as well as financially. I again failed this attempt.
- CA Final 4th attempt – Failed due to ISCA and scored only 17 marks. I again took 2 months leave. During this time my mother was again hospitalized for breathing problems. My dad and brother also fell ill. There was some construction going on at our place so we shifted in a small rented house. It was just one room with 6 people in it. I was totally frustrated.
- CA Final 5th attempt – Cleared Group 2 with 67 in ISCA and 60 Direct Taxation. I was a CA. Before my attempt, I was completely broken. What to do? How to make it happen? I could not leave CA because there was only one subject which was stopping me. I could not leave because if I accept my defeat once then it would be for a lifetime. I gathered all my courage once again told my family about my problem. They advised me for coaching for ISCA.
Life Post Qualification:
When I qualified as a CA my elder brother distributed sweets to all our neighbors and relatives. A Big Thank You to my family especially my Dad. He had a cycle on which he used to drop me to school and for coaching too. He used to wait for me outside every exam center for 3 hours be it November winter or May summer. Up to PCC exam, I was dropped by my father on this cycle and thereafter he purchased bike when I reached in final.
Today I am in practice as a sole proprietor and of course very happy.
This CA journey has taught me a lot and given me the courage to face any future difficulties. When I look back today, it’s all worth it. My suggestion to all is CHASE WHAT YOU WANT, THE WAY WILL BE MADE,” she concluded.